Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Antonio Polo, PhD
Yan Li, PhD
Peer victimization is widespread and well-established as a risk factor for youth; however, few studies have examined the relation between peer victimization and post-traumatic stress symptoms among ethnic minority children and adolescents. Additionally, existing studies rarely investigate potential moderators of the relation and often utilize retrospective reports of peer victimization from adults. This study expands on the Regulatory Theory of Temperament (Strelau, 2008) by examining the role of emotional reactivity on the association between peer victimization and post-traumatic stress problems. The sample includes 275 predominantly low-income, Latinx (86.5%), and Mixed-Latinx (13.4%) Chicago Public School students ages 10-14 (M = 11.44 years, 55.3% female). Measures were collected at three time points, including reports of post-traumatic stress problems approximately one year apart. Peer victimization significantly predicted post-traumatic stress symptom changes. Additionally, emotional reactivity moderated the relation between peer victimization and changes in post-traumatic stress symptoms such that youth with low and moderate levels of emotional reactivity had lower post-traumatic stress symptoms one year later. Further, gender was not found to moderate the association between peer victimization and post-traumatic stress or the moderation effect of emotional reactivity on the association between peer victimization and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Implications of these findings and study limitations will be discussed.
Harris, Ashley N., "Peer Victimization and Post-Traumatic Stress Problems among Latinx Youth: The Role of Emotional Reactivity and Gender" (2023). College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations. 494.